Diversity Statement.....All Advice Welcome..Be Critical

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Diversity Statement.....All Advice Welcome..Be Critical

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:11 pm

The trick to life isn’t realizing that it isn’t fair; the trick to life is figuring out how to overcome its unfairness. I was born an economically disadvantaged Hispanic, in a household where only my father worked and my mother took care of me as a full time job. If that wasn’t enough when I was born, I was diagnosed with a disease called Cystic Fibrosis; so in reality, I struck out at birth, with all odds pretty much against me. However, these unfortunate circumstances have not been enough to keep me from pursuing my dreams; on the contrary, it is these very obstacles that perpetuate my vigor for success.
Regardless, these so-called “disadvantages” have made me who I am, they have taught me one important lesson: to persevere and keep going. Yes, life dealt me a tough hand, however if it wasn’t for these circumstances I would not be the person I am today. I am the only one in my family to have Cystic Fibrosis, so it was hard for my family to explain to me what exactly it was that I had and why I was “different” from other children. Growing up, how was I to explain to others that there was no need to worry about getting sick when, to be honest, I did not fully understand the disease? My disease was harder to deal with in my younger years because kids can be cruel; after all, they don’t understand much about the complexities of life, they learn to mock anything that’s different or strange. I still remember the kids at school teasing me and calling me names. In fact, some of them were even a little scared of me, because they didn’t quite understand my disease or if it was even contagious, to be honest neither did I, I was only a child after all. Still that’s not my only memory of that time; while some of the other kids were learning the meanest words to demean and try to bring down my Hispanic heritage and my disability, I learned to persevere. You don’t like my race? You don’t like my shabby clothes or shoes? You don’t like the fact that I was born with a disease? Well my only response became: so what! My early years were just like anyone else’s they were full of a mix of heartbreak and triumph, but that in itself is a victory. By learning to persevere through it all and get ahead, I wasn’t some outsider or “freak.” Instead, I became something which I valued more; I became normal.
As I grew older and entered college at the University of California San Diego, I began to realize how much harder my goals for success would be; I began to realize that grit and determination just weren’t enough. It was not enough to want something badly and to work as hard as you can, you also have to work smart. It was also now more than ever that I believed it was necessary for me to demonstrate that I was normal and that nothing could keep me down. I learned this the hard way because as soon as I entered this completely new world that is college, my disease went into overdrive. At the time, I could not imagine how difficult accomplishing these goals would be or how bad my disease could get—I still saw my disease as something that would only get me sick and keep me down shortly never did it occur to me that it could end in death at anytime. Being new to a life of independence without the help of my parents, I had no idea how to handle my disease along with my schoolwork and, in fact, ended up being hospitalized several times as I too often prioritized proving people wrong rather than keep keeping my body healthy. Still, as I had learned many times in the past, life is full of setbacks. The key is learning how to deal with them. After that rough start to college, that’s exactly what I did. Despite many doubters, I was able to successfully finish my undergraduate studies at the University of California, San Diego; I graduated with a major in Political Science and a Minor in Linguistics. More importantly to me, I did so while finally having control over my Cystic Fibrosis (as much control as I could possibly have over it). As a result, these ordeals have given me something I badly needed as a child: self-confidence. I know I can accomplish anything I put my mind to, because so far, I have.
My life has never been an easy one regardless of how normal I tried to appear and be; I have gone through many struggles throughout my life, some more challenging than others. These struggles have brought a bigger point to mind as well; Yes, I love proving people who doubt my abilities to persevere wrong, but what I love even more is proving myself right; I learned to persevere and move forward thanks to the obstacles in my path, not in spite of them. My disease has shaped who I am as an individual; it has made me a hard-worker who has a purpose in life, a person who no matter what circumstances lie in front of me, will always fight to reach his objectives. This is ultimately at the core of why I want to become a lawyer. I’ve had to overcome so much just to come to this point. Along the way, I’ve met so many people whose circumstances are so similar to my own. What many of these people need is a role model, an example that’s proves their dreams are possible. In addition these people need an advocate, someone willing to speak on their behalf when they face the many injustices of the world. I want to become that person. I hope that through my success in achieving my goal, I can serve as an inspiration to other children and adults with “disadvantages” to never give up on their dreams. Yes, I was born with a couple of “strikes”. In fact since birth, life has thrown me a million strikes more, but that doesn’t matter to me. In my eyes, by completing my goal of becoming a lawyer, I’ll complete a journey that started at birth, and hit the only homerun that matters.

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Re: Diversity Statement.....All Advice Welcome..Be Critical

Postby fruitoftheloom » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:34 pm

This is too long for a diversity statement and sounds exactly like your personal statement. I mean, literally, I just read the same essay twice. If you're going to address CF, I would try to keep it in one statement OR the other. Repeating it does not win points.

Secondly - I think you need to focus your DS on specifically how your background has informed your view. You don't do that. You just talk about how it's a challenge to overcome. Start with a thesis and go from there. Doesn't go back to your childhood because you don't need to. I think a good thesis for your diversity statement would be something like: "As someone whose life expectancy is about half of the typical American, Cystic Fibrosis has made me consider mortality and focus on really making every day count / achieving my goals quickly". Start with something like that and focus tightly on why CF / Hispanic background gives you a unique view.

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